Beaches rated ‘excellent’ as Devon and Cornwall achieve ‘best ever’ result

East Devon beaches have been given top ratings for their bathing water quality. Picture: Canva

East Devon beaches have been given top ratings for their bathing water quality. Picture: Canva - Credit: Archant

East Devon beaches are among the best after seven of eight achieved ‘excellent’ ratings for its bathing water quality.

All six of East Devon District Council's beaches received the highest classification following stringent tests from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Defra published the results on Wednesday announcing Sidmouth Town, Jacobs Ladder, Seaton, Beer, Budleigh Salterton and Exmouth were all rated excellent.

The privately-owned Sandy Bay and Ladram Bay beaches were rated excellent and good respectively.

It is the best-ever result for Devon and Cornwall following the new standards introduced in 2015.

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The new regulations classify bathing waters as excellent, good, sufficient or poor, based on the level of bacteria in the water as monitored by the Environment Agency over the previous four years.

Ed Mitchell, South West Water's director of environment, said: "We know how highly our customers value the region's beaches, which is why we've invested so heavily in protecting and improving bathing water over the years, so we're delighted with today's announcement."

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Bathing water quality can be affected by many factors including rainwater running off roads and roofs, run-off from agricultural land, water company infrastructure, sewage from privately owned treatment works and septic tanks, boats or even animals such as dogs or seabirds on the beach. This can be made worse by heavy rain.

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